As the Clicks advert goes: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
2018 is drawing to a close, as today is already the first Monday of December.

The year started with a new, enthusiastic team at OurHood in Cape Town, ready to take the platform to new heights – just for you!

2018 had a positive start with some beautiful stories showing how if communities work together, they can make our country a better place.

Here are some examples:

– Thousands of Honeydew residents donated water to their local animal shelters to keep the animals hydrated during a heatwave of 42 degrees!

– Residents rallied together to rebuild a burnt down creche in Nelson Mandela Bay.
– A family in Kuils River used their annual Christmas light display to raise just over R30 000, which they donated to the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.
– A couple from Port Elizabeth opened their home to the 14 elderly residents who survived the fire that burnt down the Frail Care Home they were residing at.
– Two 12-year-old boys from Kroonstad were nearby when they saw the smoke coming from a train. They rushed forward to help and started pulling young and old from the wreckage.

– Cape Town started the year with hot weather and strict water restrictions, but residents worked together to ensure that their water usage stayed down, and the dam levels rose.
– The grade 8’s from Glenwood High School in Durban took it upon themselves to do some good for the environment by collecting 40 bags of rubbish from the Mgeni Mangrove Swamps.

Here are some more examples of residents working together as a unified community, that are now better connected with safer neighbourhoods with the help of OurHood:

George from the hood Lonehill/Beverley, called upon all neighbours to do their part to better their community by keeping them informed with important news on charities, support groups and neighbourhood watch patrols.

In February, Cape St Francis community members used the OurHood platform to raise money for CCTV cameras in order to improve the security in their area.

The month of March brought you the OurHood app!
Allowing residents to take OurHood with you, everywhere and anywhere, keeping you in touch with- and staying in the loop of what’s going on in your neighbourhood.

The app also allowed for easier access to chat groups – having them right at your fingertips and replacing less secure communication platforms for direct messaging amongst residents.

Residents of Kensington B and The Kenbrink Residents’ Association (KRA) organised and funded the painting of park equipment in the neighbourhood which is one of the highlights of community upliftment project shown on OurHood.

Also from Kensington B, Katherine posted this message: “On Human Rights Day we will be kicking off 100 days of Massive Action. Let’s be the change we want to see in our community!”
That’s what we always say!

Also in March, The Green Point Common was granted heritage status by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) – an amazing conclusion too many hard hours of work by the committee to get the approval.

In April, we had many public holidays and long weekends, resulting in many exciting events and things to do.
Here are some cost-effective ideas we had, which you can even try these December holidays:

  • Make a Homemade Pizza and/or Bread.
  • Have a baking contest amongst friends.
  • Why not start a Blog?
  • Host a Games Day! Invite friends and family over, mix it up with some outdoor games and some board games.
  • Make your own kite to fly on a windy day.

  • Try to learn some origami techniques. You can always look online for inspiration.
  • Write a letter a letter to a friend or family. It is more personal and it is always exciting receiving. You can even try finding a penpal to write to.
  • Have a DIY or cleaning day. This is always a great way to get jobs done that have been sitting on your to-do list for ages. It also makes you feel great after once you have seen what you have accomplished.
  • Try to learn a new language. Go to websites like Duolingo, which assists you in learning a new language or find a school near you which could help you learn.
  • Have a campfire in your backyard. You can make smores, sing, tell stories and play campfire games.

  • Have a movie marathon. Invite friends and family and get them to dress up like their favourite movie character.

In May, the communities of Gallo Manor and Wendywood also used the OurHood platform to help gather neighbourhood support to improve the security in their area by raising money and investing in CCTV cameras.

In June (the 16th being Youth Day) and July (Nelson Mandela Month), we looked at some motivated young people trying to make a difference in their communities.

Naledi Masilo was one of these inspiring people. She wants to leave a lasting impact in the music and human development industry. She hopes to be a positive role model and a pioneering female in the jazz industry.
Early this year, Naledi, originally from Alberton, got accepted to further her jazz studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in the USA.

OurHood improved its platform this year by categorising the noticeboards, giving you the ability to activate or deactivate notifications for the various pages.
In turn, giving you the freedom to choose what you want to be notified about.

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), a state-owned enterprise based in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, achieved 92% of the local jobs; 1,446 people were employed during the construction phase this July.

During Women’s Month (August), OurHood looked honoured many inspiring females who changed the course of South Africa’s history. We also looked at some young women who are using their blogs to be role models for women in their communities. And on our social media pages, we allowed ladies from around the country to share the reasons why their mom is the best.

September was a month to focus on looking after and protecting our country.
Being Heritage Month, and with the landfill crisis in South Africa, the 15th of September – World Cleanup Day – gave South Africans a good reason do their bit in their community.

Protea Valley used the OurHood platform to organise a fun event, calling for neighbours to get together to make a difference in their neighbourhood by cleaning up litter and protecting their environment.

In October, we paid tribute to not only those with breast cancer, but with all kinds of cancer.
We honour each and every one of you and are inspired by your strength.

Halloween was also an opportunity which OurHood users used to get together, meet new people, make new friends and have a safe, but exciting event for the children in your neighbourhood. Many of the communities using OurHood organised Halloween Trick n Treating events which had extremely positive feedback.

The start of November brought us Guy Fawkes, and we gave you some ideas that are safer, which, again, you can do with your children these December holidays: You can find them on our blog.

The Neighbourhood Watches for Arena Park, Reservoir Hills, Umhlanga Rocks. Parklands/Sunningdale kept their community up to date with incident reports, multiple times a month, throughout the year. These reports are invaluable to showcasing relevant and important information to residents who need to see it.

Many people found jobs, thanks to the users of OurHood advertising their skills and services.

So, with the festive season and the New Year fast approaching, what (else) will December bring? OurHood will allow all users to be able to continue to communicate, organise and showcase how their neighbourhood is working and constantly improving.